A Puff Ball Mushroom

Image result for puffball mushrooms

This is a photo from an online collection.  It is a foot wide at its diameter,.  This is just like the ones that grow in my yard sometimes after a heavy rain. They are edible, but due caution is needed to make sure that what ya think is a puff ball is indeed that.

These big ball-like mushrooms are fairly common around where we live, in Northern Ohio.  In fact there was one next door that I wanted to photograph, but forgot about it before I had my camera in my hands.    They appear in fields or forest areas after heavy rains.

 

 

Mercado Flores Pantleon Re-Blogged

Here is a great treat! I found this site this morning and just had to browse the marvelous photos. This post is of a flower market in Guadalajara, Mexico. I do love Mexico and all things Mexican—so I’m happy to look around. These photos are great! Be sure to click on one of the photos so as to get the slide show—and be prepared to say WOW!!! Thanks to the blogger for permission to repost…

Guadalajara en Fotos

This is the biggest flower market in Guadalajara, and the best place to go on Valentines day.  It is across the street from the Cemetary, so people can buy flowers for the departed.  It has stores that face the street Federalismo, and more and more stores as you walk a block behind the storefronts.  My favorite part is the open air Flower Market and watching the trucks unload flowers in bulk.

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Fairy Ring

 

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After the Rain….before the grass turned green again.       We call this growth of mushrooms a Fairy Ring.     This is a half-ring, with other parts in the semi-circle. in place but not complete.      I don’t know what kind of mushrooms they are, probably not edible.  My late husband used to gather wild mushrooms, including huge round puff-balls, some as large as a soccer ball.

Missing Book finally Found

Here is something I wrote last week…sort of a poem/prayer…when I could not find a book that I had sold, and knew I had in my inventory.  My inventory has nearly two thousand books, all shelved in numerical order.     In theory, if I am looking for book number 452, it should be right there on the shelf between #451, and #453.   How easy is that?   The volume is always there….unless its not.    If it’s not, I undertake a frantic and massive search, and usually it turns up misplaced, behind other books on the shelf, in over-sized spaces, or having lost its number sticker.

I’ve blogged about this before…bragging (sort of) about my great system, which is basically fool-proof.     I am dedicated to filling orders from Amazon, and all my other venues, rapidly—most orders go out the same day they are received.      I am paranoid about maintaining my 100% performance rate, as the competition is fierce.   The description wording must be precise, and I always mention every little bend, pencil mark, dog-ear…in great detail.     If I say the book is “good” it is usually “very good” or better.

Without further ado, here is my account of my latest fiasco….which in the end turned out well, the book was located and shipped on time.    However…it was missing for a whole day and a half, and I was beginning to panic.      So I did what many self-respecting bloggers would do in my situation—write a poem.

Missing Book

Book Inventory is nice
in numerical order
instead of by price
or subject, size or color.

How hard can it be
to follow the scheme
with consecutive numbers
as the predominant theme.

It must be mischievous Fate
humor sense so gigantic—
it seems that this date
I have lost the Titanic!

A buyer waiting
counts on me for his book
what worries me is how long
the finding it took!

©Sometimes, 2016

 

 

 

My favorite all-time book: Snow Treasure

When I was about eight years old, our teacher read a book to us in class.   Teachers did that often in those days, and I suppose they still do.  I hope so!    The book was Snow Treasure: A story of courage and adventure, written by Marie McSwigan, published in 1942.     Here’s the back cover blurb:

Now every sled ride was a matter of life and death

Peter Lundstrom never thought he would become a hero.   But that bleak winter of 1940 was like no other.   Nazi troops parachuted into Peter’s tiny village and held it captive.  Nobody thought they could be defeated—until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children of the village could fool the enemy.

It was a dangerous plan.   Peter and his friends had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds.  It meant risking their country’s treasure—and their lives.

This book was the ONE thing I wanted for Christmas that year.   My mother, broke as a churchmouse, but determined to do what she could to make our holiday wishes.     There was a small stack under the tree…some undies, and socks, maybe some school supplies like pencils or notebooks…and I opened all of the packages as politely as possible, all the time anticipating the gift that I really wanted.    Finally there was one present left for me, and when I opened it, I found a box of TIDE soap powder.   My poor little heart sank until I realized that the package was not what it appeared to be.  My book!   My book!

Throughout the decades Snow Treasure has been my favorite book.  Until about ten years ago it was only a memory…and I found a copy at a used book sale at the library.  Actually the book has an ISBN number, so apparently it is still available, though no longer in print.     The copy I have was published in the 1980s.

At the time that I was eight years old, World War II was very prominent in our lives, and indeed influences everything, everywhere, for every one.  I have written other blog accounts about the War and my personal experiences as a school child living in Cleveland, Ohio.

I always believed that the story of Snow Treasure was true.  The preface of the copy of the book that I have, published by Scholastic, Inc a couple of decades ago, qualifies the story with details that I presume are true.       To paraphrase:  On June 28, 1940, the Norwegian freighter Bomma arrived in Baltimore with about nine million dollars in gold bullion.    According to the story, the gold “had been slipped past Nazi sentries by Norwegian boys and girls!  Under the very eyes of the enemy, the story went, these children had pulled the gold on their sleds to a freighter hidden in a fiord off Norway’s coast.”      There is no proof, of course….I still believe that the tale is at least possible, but I am a dreamer and believer in all sorts of things.   To me veracity of any given account or story depends not only on proving something happened…but also proving that it did not happen.

*0590425374     There are several editions of this book on Amazon, and on other book seller sites.  The book has been published periodically in paper and hardback  for years.   I’m glad to know that, its like finding an old friend still alive!

What are we supposed to do? RE-BLOG from OM site.

Wow! Or as we used to say after the War…ZOUNDS! Yes!!! I can’t believe that I am re-blogging my OWN post for the HarshReality, Opinionated Man blog….which by the way (wink, wink) is a HUGE honor having been posted by OM. My humbleness is hardly contained….Wow! Thanks Jason for inviting me to be a Guest Blogger! :-)   I’m so ASITED!!!…as my great granddaughter used to say.

 

 

I’m back in grade school (OK, maybe college…) My hand is waving frantically, desperate for attention.  I have a question.   It’s not a timid wave, either…but a determined wave like a novice practicing semaphore flags (sorry if that’s redundant.)     I just want to know what we are supposed to do.

Right, I see that all the other kids have their heads down, pencils gripped in their hands and leaning over their papers, and … I guess they are writing…  OR the bumpkin next to me is just refusing to let me see his paper. 

My pencil lead broke.  May I sharpen it?   um…where is the sharpener? 

OK, write my name on the left top of the paper.  Is that my left, or the paper’s left?   Do I “write” as in cursive, or should I print?      Do they want my whole name spelled out, or just my first name?

(Looks around.)  …

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Responsible self-promotion: negotiating the relationships between self and Other, myself and ‘my’ work RE-BLOGGED!

This excellent article by Alison Phipps, is re-blogged from her site: genders, bodies, and politics.    The topic is one that I find interesting, so I will refer to it in my own post on the subject.

 

 

genders, bodies, politics

This is the text of a talk I was invited to give at Sussex university on February 18th 2016, to a group of PhD students and early-career researchers. 

publicintellectual

‘Responsible self promotion’. I think that is probably an oxymoron. Responsibility implies being accountable to something other than the self: the act of promoting the self is by definition, selfish. Is it possible to both promote the self and be accountable to the Other? I think the answer is ‘probably not’. But self-promotion is increasingly part of academic life: our readerships and research ‘impact’ are metricised by systems of reward and punishment like funding streams, league tables, and the REF. For early career researchers, precarious employment depends on being able to narrate the self in a marketable fashion. For those in mid- to late-career stages, promotion is reliant on self-promotion: rising up the ranks means evidencing, usually for a committee, our intellectual…

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The Beggar

There was a beggar
who sometimes plied his talent
if hungry or not.

Good morning, I said
always when I passed him by
and handed a dollar.

He mumbled something,
with a nod of his grey beard
maybe thanks…or not.

My friend disapproved,
why encourage him, she said.
Why give a hand-out?

He’s richer than us…
thanks to the people like you
who forfeit good sense!

So they said, indeed…
and for all I knew…it’s true,
always a fixture…

If he ever worked
no one knew…most didn’t care;.
tossed a coin—or not.

Did he need to beg
to support his existence?
Was he a con man?

It doesn’t matter…
not for me to determine…
I know just one thing:

Better him than me,
in the cold rain and hot sun,
on the street—for alms.

Risking self esteem,
damaging reputation,
takes audacity

The truth, I suppose,
(if there must be a reason,)
— “Just because he asked!”

©Sometimes, 2016

If Only This Had Been A Rare Face, Re-blogged from “Weirdly Wired.”

This beautifully written and poignant poem is by Nikhil, on his site WEIRDLY WIRED, is re-blogged here with permission. Thanks, Nikhil!

Weirdly Wired

As Mediterranean waves evaded a violent shore,

A frail face lay in peace, at the confluence of war.

Birds swam seeking refuge in boatloads,

A few sank, like an island full of toads.

alan_kurdi_lifeless_body

Terror, tears, shock, and blank concern,

How did the world allow its people to burn?

Passionate vows, pious pleas overflew worldwide,

An audacious hope of morality bona fide.


Sadly, that was not to be!

Time, forgetfulness – proved a great healer.


 Haunting face sitting in an ambulance

Three-year-old eyes, dusty and bloodshot with innocence.

Shock, cry, surprise, alarm –  a bit too far,

Unnerving calm and silence – fury and chaos of war.

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 The world’s conscience still ceases to be troubled,

All the piety did not move the world.

No change, no action – not a trace,

If only this had been a rare face.

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Seven Sometimes, a poem

Sometimes I feel like crying
but all the tear drops are dry.

Sometimes I feel like singing
but have forgotten the words.

Sometimes I feel like flying
away from everyday.

Sometimes I feel like dancing,
but my feet refuse to move.

Sometimes I feel like laughing
but I just don’t get the joke.

Sometimes I feel like writing
and hope my Muse will concur.

Sometimes I feel like dying
but there’s lots of living still!

©Sometimes, 2016

Soul Song…a Shadorma

Soul Song

long ago
a secret yearning,
hidden song
remembers,
returns like a bell ringing
echoes in the night.

thoughts of old passion
unique to us two
thriving there
as treasure…
kept in corners of my soul
waiting forever.

©Sometimes, 2016

My poem above, a Shadorma (six-line stanzas, 3,5,3,3,7,5 syllables.)    My original poem is inspired by the poet in today’s Mind Misery Menagerie’s excersise based on a poem by  Julia Spicher Kasdorf.   https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/bps-shadorma-and-beyond-august-20-2016/#respond

 

 

 

Hollyhocks That Grow On Trees? (Re-blogged)

This re-blog from Miss Sissinghurst is of great interest to me, so I decided to re-blog it here. Thanks, Vita!

Miss Sissinghurst

Spring and summer are well provided with flowering shrubs, but it is a puzzle to know what to grow of a shrubby nature for colour in the late months of July, August, and September.  There are the hibiscus (Althea Frutex) which are attractive with their hollyhock-like flowers…

-Vita Sackville-West
In Your Garden
June 25th, 1950

Everyday I run two miles with my dog and my kids in tow on their bikes, and everyday  I pass by the same bushes.  They sit in my neighbor’s yard oddly out of place toward the road.  I never realized these bushes were anything special until July rolled around.  With the heat of summer beautiful blooms began to emerge.

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Tall bushes they were, at least eight feet, with abundant blooms.  I thought immediately  I should plant several along my fence to block out my neighbor’s barking dog.  Perhaps the solution should come from these enormous shrubs of flowering beauty since…

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Space-between Game

[Here’s a great treat this morning, by LuAnne Holder on her blog, WIND RUSH. Lovely poem, and fascinating photo! Thanks LuAnne!]

Wind Rush

rear view mirror

It is curious how easily
I can get lost in the jumble of tasks,
five errands to run during rush hour traffic
somewhere to be at a particular time
but blocked by others doing the same

While plunked down in stillness when I want to keep moving
I find it’s a grand time to remind myself
to notice the layers and layers of now

like the lawns flocked with shadows,
clouds covering clouds,
and maybe the crescendo of katydids calls
all harmonizing in this complex moment
with my heartbeat and my breath
until the light turns green

It’s a game I play, the space – between game,
brief gifts through the day to see deities around me
in the real time I’m actually living

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